Friday, May 02, 2008

Send Grover right over!

Normally I wouldn't discuss something so personal, but we're all friends here, right?

Yesterday I went to a new dermatologist. I try to visit my dermatologist once a year and have him give me the once over, make sure I don’t have anything cancerous on my skin. I'm in the sun a lot. My regular doc had a stroke a couple of years ago. I went to a new dermatologist last summer, and she was such a babe I told my wife I wasn't going back. It's too intimidating having a beautiful woman looking at my zits, warts and moles. At a friend's recommendation I switched to Dr. W., who is male. Among other things my friend--who is a woman--said, "He's really funny and he's short." I don't know what that has to do with anything, but it's the way people describe other people.

Besides wanting to get checked out for skin cancer I recently developed a rash on my shoulders and lower back. I tried various over-the-counter products but nothing worked. My new dermatologist stepped into the examining room, and not only is he not short, he towers over me. No problem having him look at my scalp, which he did just by looking down. The rash he took one look at and said, "It's transient acantholytic dermatosis. It occurs mainly in men over 55." I remembered my friend describing him as funny, but that didn't sound funny to me. He gave me a prescription for a steroid cream and was out of the office like he was running a marathon. Considering how many people were in his office and how fast he was getting through them maybe every day is like a footrace for Dr. W.

I came home to a phone call from Sally telling me she had landed safely in Portland, Oregon, and she and her friends were off to lunch and to have some fun. I told her my story and added, "Dr. W. is as handsome a young guy as Dr. S. is a beautiful woman." That was because she'd given me a hard time after I told her why I didn't want to go back to the pretty lady doc.

When I came home I checked out the condition on the Internet and found out it's also called Grover's Disease. Grover's! Holy crap, that took me back to my son's childhood and his love for his furry blue Grover doll. He carried it everywhere he went. I'm guessing the Sesame Street connection might be why the doc didn't call it that. From the articles I read I found the condition goes away--after a year or two!--if not treated, but is easily treated with topical steroids. Whew. I found out the condition is brought on by sweating, which I do a lot of. In the winter it's worse, because I'm trapped in a coat, with sweatshirt over a t-shirt. There's nowhere for my sweat to go; it can't evaporate. The article told me to use baby talc.

So now I'm a talcum-powdered Grover!

(Thanks to David Miller for giving me the "blues" in this photo!)

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